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Simon Wardell





Film What’s On

This fascinating wrestling biopic gets much of its oomph from the risk-taking of its lead, Gael García Bernal. He plays Saúl Armendáriz, a fighter in Mexico’s lucha libre world who decides to perform in the guise of Cassandro, an “exótico” – a type of male wrestler who dresses in drag but always loses. Saúl battles to be the first to win his fights, bumping up against homophobia and tradition in the process. Director Roger Ross Williams glories in the innate spectacle of the choreographed bouts, while Bernal brings out the tension between the freedom Saúl feels in the ring and the melancholy of his everyday life of secrecy and repression.